The Bilt Rewards card earns 1 point per dollar on free rent payments (up to $ 50,000 in rent payments each year), 2 points per dollar on travel (when booked directly with a company airline, hotel, car rental company or cruise line), 3 points per dollar on meals and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The card also earns interest points on point balances at the national savings interest rate set by the FDIC (remember that it is currently less than 1%) and earns bonus points for the signing of new and renewed leases with the owners of the Bilt Rewards Alliance network.
Bilt discovered how to make paying rent with a credit card like a regular airline rewards program. The Bilt Rewards program status level system determines what perks, extras and bonuses a cardholder receives and status levels are achieved with annual rewards and the points earning must be maintained each year or status will be lost:
- Blue: anyone registered with Bilt Rewards with less than 25,000 points
- Silver — 25,000 points earned
- Gold — 50,000 points earned
- Platinum: 100,000 points earned
Tiers unlock a variety of perks including interest on points, homeowner concierge service for help with home buying (points can be redeemed for a mortgage payment), bonus points on new or renewed leases and decoration and art gifts. We’ve included a table to help explain what perks are included with each status level.
* Bilt states that bonus points on points earned when signing leases are in addition to points issued by landlords, but it is not clear how the base amount is determined or whether there is a standard for points that owners will assign. Rental within the Bilt Rewards Alliance is required to earn any bonus.
Bilt Rewards card points transfer partners are where that card’s points have value: with a 1: 1 point transfer between different partners, Bilt Rewards points have value well outside the options of exchange offered by Bilt: IHG Hotels, American Airlines AAdvantage, Aeroplan, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue, Turkish Miles & Smiles, Virgin Points, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles and World of Hyatt.
The calculations required to determine whether the card will actually be worth it compared to alternatives such as the 2% flat-rate cash back cards will depend on the individual needs and spending habits of each consumer.
The Bilt Rewards credit card also offers a welcome bonus, allowing new cardholders to earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases during the first 30 days.
Bilt rewards can be redeemed in a number of ways. One of Bilt’s main goals is to help tenants afford to buy. At some point, Bilt Rewards will be able to be redeemed for a future mortgage on a new home when funding is issued through Bilt.
In the meantime, cardholders have access to strong redemption options. One of the most popular is probably the transfers to airline and hotel partners in a 1: 1 ratio. Partners include:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Emirates Skywards
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Turkish miles and smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hawaiian Airlines
- The world of Hyatt
- IHG Hotels
Bilt points can also be redeemed for group fitness classes or memberships with SourCycle, Rumble and Y7 starting at 3,500 points, for items from The Bilt Collection starting at 5,000 points and for rental credit at rate of 0.55 cents per point.
At launch, transfers to travel partners will represent the best use of Bilt Rewards points. Among the transfer partners, American Airlines is the most interesting because it does not participate in any other long-term transfer program.
To determine the reward potential of the Bilt Rewards credit card, we need to consider what an American household might spend on a credit card each year. Forbes Advisor uses data from various government agencies to determine both basic income and average expenses in various categories. The 70th percentile of salaried households earns $ 100,172 per year and we base our spending on that number.
Forbes Advisor estimates that the household has expenses of $ 26,410 that can be reasonably billed on a credit card, in addition to about $ 13,000 per year in rent payments. We estimate that this household would spend $ 4,406 in restaurants, which represents 12,218 points earned per year and $ 3,185 on trips, or 6,370 points earned per year. The remaining $ 18,819 in credit card spending plus $ 13,000 in rent payments would translate to 31,819 points earned each year for an annual total of 50,407 points.